Irmgard Keun

Irmgard Keun (6 February 1905 – 5 May 1982) was a German writer.

In Cologne, Keun attended a Lutheran girls’ school. From 1925 to 1927, she attended an acting school and worked as a stenotypist. Encouraged by Alfred Döblin, she started writing in 1929. In 1933, her books were banned by the Nazis. In 1936, she went into exile to Belgium and later the Netherlands. From 1936 to 1938, she lived with the writer Joseph Roth. After the German invasion of the Netherlands, she staged her own suicide, before secretly re-entering Germany, in 1940, where she lived undercover until 1945.

Books

  • Gilgi, eine von uns (1931), novel, translated into English as Gilgi, One of Us
  • Das kunstseidene Mädchen (1932), novel, translated into English as The Artificial Silk Girl
  • Das Mädchen, mit dem die Kinder nicht verkehren durften (1936), teenage novel, translated into English as Grown-ups Don’t Understand (UK) and The Bad Example (US)
  • Nach Mitternacht (1937), novel, translated into English as After Midnight
  • D-Zug dritter Klasse (1938), novel (Third Class Express)
  • Kind aller Länder (1938), novel, translated into English as Child of All Nations
  • Bilder und Gedichte aus der Emigration (1947) (Pictures and poems of emigration)
  • Nur noch Frauen… (1949) (Only women left)
  • Ich lebe in einem wilden Wirbel. Letters to Arnold Strauss, 1933-1947 (1988)
  • Ferdinand, der Mann mit dem freundlichen Herzen (1950), Novel (Ferdinand the kind-hearted man)
  • Scherzartikel (1951) (Joke object)
  • Wenn wir alle gut wären (1954), Short stories, translated into English as If we were all good
  • Blühende Neurosen (1962) (Neuroses in full flower)
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